November 1st – November 15th, 2017
People who get upset over small things, who take the tiniest perceived slight as a cataclysmic event, who hyper-analyze every word and sentence… man, I can’t help but think that these people must not have a lot going on in their lives. Circle of influence, circle of concern. The things that concern them says a lot about the size of that first circle.
At The Roof, out on the terrace with a full moon above me. The place is quiet, everyone’s gone to tapas night. I just got back from running my weekly webinar. Chatting with my lady now on the phone, making plans for next year. Bulgaria, Moscow, Gran Canaria, Romania, Ireland, UK, Amsterdam… that’s what we have in mind so far, dancing in and out of the Schengen.
Playing ultimate frisbee for the first time. It’s a fun game, similar to basketball in many respects – five-on-five, pass and cut, keep your pivot foot – but more sprinting long distances. Takes it out of you. But even when you’re doubled-over exhausted and the other team has scored six straight times, you remember you’re on a beach in November and it’s warm after dark and life is pretty damn good.
There’s something called the focusing illusion, which Daniel Kahneman described brilliantly when he wrote that “nothing in life is as important as you think it is, while you are thinking about it.” In other words, whatever it is you’re worried about right now, whatever you think is a big deal, is actually less significant than you think it is. Including this very concept.
Life is good at the moment. But I want even better. Right now I enjoy my work, but I still have to constantly consider how to make a living from it. Would be nice to pick projects based solely on interest. whatever tickles my fancy. For example, I’d love to spend a week researching astrology – which I suspect is complete bullshit, but I’ve never looked into it much – and then write an article about it.
Work today involved filming myself resting in a hammock, lounging on the couch, and parkour-rolling into the camera. Fun times. It was all for a Facebook ad campaign I’m putting together. Scripted, shot and edited a 2.5-minute video for that today. Took a while. Now it’s after eleven and I haven’t eaten since breakfast. Feeling like a champ.
Right about now is the safest time ever to be alive. As in, you’re highly unlikely to be killed by another human these days. You’re actually more likely to kill yourself, or to die from diabetes. In other words, your own mind and that can of soda are more a threat to your survival than any war, terrorist, or random psychopath. But you wouldn’t know it from reading headlines.
I’m saying it’s fine to do things free for clients, but they should know you’re doing those things. Don’t keep quiet and hope they notice. Same applies to relationships. If you do something nice that goes unnoticed, make it known. And don’t keep doing things that aren’t appreciated. Otherwise you end up resentful. She’s surprised I know this.
Thursdays take it out of me, doing that webinar in the evening. Requires a lot of energy. Worth it when you see a few sales after, but that didn’t happen tonight, so I walk home in the dark trying not to feel too dejected, thinking how I can do better next time. It’s tough when you put a lot of time and effort and heart into something and see little reward.
“What do you do when you feel sad?” Well I try to keep in mind is that sadness is temporary. It comes and goes. And it’s okay to sit with it for a while. And listen, relatively speaking, my sad days are fantastic. Most people in the world would love to have my sad days. Today was a sad day for me, but I still got to swim in the ocean, take a long nap, be self-directed in my work, and read thank you notes from strangers.
Louis CK is the latest male celebrity to be accused of sexual misconduct, and he’s even admitted the allegations are true. So I’m disappointed that one of my comedy heroes is actually a dirtbag, but glad to see all these stories about powerful men abusing women coming to light. It’s taken way longer than it should have, but clearly a shift is happening. We’re starting to listen.
Been too anti-social recently, too much of a recluse, retreating to Netflix for downtime. Haven’t been sleeping great, and then I feel tired, and then I don’t have the energy to be social. Bet if I make the effort to be social, that will help me unwind, and then I’ll sleep better. Journaling helped me figure this out. Haven’t been doing that enough lately either.
From The Art of Fully Living: “The moment you decide that pursuing a dream is more important than the dream itself, you will be willing to step out of your comfort zone and take more risks. This one small shift in perspective has the power to set you free from your fear of failure, your self-made shackles.”
There’s an analogy about how building a business, or doing any big project, is like priming one of those old-fashioned water pumps. You put in a lot of time and effort in the beginning, and it seems like nothing is happening. That’s when most people quit. But if you keep going, eventually the water starts flowing, and you don’t need to pump so much to keep it that way.
I know from experience, that whenever I’m stuck trying to figure out what to write about, the solution isn’t to sit there starting at a blank screen until inspiration strikes. No, you have to actually write. Write gibberish if you have to until something good comes. Had to spit out ten minutes of gibberish today until I found what I was looking for.
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These are my Momentos, vignettes I write daily and publish twice a month. They're incredibly self-indulgent and I'm surprised anyone reads them.
There's one for every day since February 27, 2013.